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Chris Gordon and walking partner George Campbell have just recorded one of the fastest ever completion times of ‘The Pennine Way’. This epic walk was in aid of a charity in The Gambia called ‘Wonder Years’ which aims to improve education for children and help to provide a sustainable economy for the community.
After 272 miles from Edale in the Peak District and 40,000 feet of ascent, Chris and George arrived at Kirk Yeltholm in Scotland at the northern end of the Pennine Way. As Chris explains: “‘The Pennine Way’ is generally regarded as the toughest and most challenging long-distance walk in Britain. I’ve done the Three Peaks Challenge - Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours - a couple of times. Growing up in The Lake District I’ve always loved hiking, but I knew this would be far harder than anything I’d done before. The primary reason is the sheer distance, but also because we planned to do it in less than 12 days. The standard completion time for anybody daft enough to do it in ‘one go’ is about 3 weeks!”
The duo actually completed the walk in less than 12 days, as planned. Walking from dawn till dusk with a maximum 10-minute break for lunch, the pair had to contend with some of the worst seasonal weather the area has seen for years – driving rain and 70 mph winds. Thick fog confronted them every day. Rivers were in full flood and all the bogs were saturated making walking a more tiring and sometimes treacherous experience. Chris said: “The fact that the sun came out on the last day was a supreme irony. We suffered quite badly with blisters as our boots were constantly waterlogged and I still have some mild nerve damage to my feet. I thought our tent was going to be blown away most nights, so we didn’t get much sleep either. It was great to get back to a comfy bed!”
Chris and George have already raised nearly £3,000 including Gift-Aid. They have had very positive responses from Trust Funds, that hopefully will match-fund in order to reach the £10,000 target that they had set themselves. Chris says: “This kind of money will go an awfully long way in The Gambia to form a community that can stand on its own. Every penny raised will make a massive difference to the people’s lives. Although we are both still sore and very tired, we are really pleased with what we have achieved and the money we have raised so far.”
This year, there will be great support for charities by the Auditel consultants. Here we have Chris and Gordon’s story. Alan Ford completed the Ironman Triathlon for Cancer Research in August, Daryn Dodge ran in the Bupa Great North Run in September for Diabetes UK. Jack Pokoj will take part in the New York Marathon for Breast Cancer Care in November.
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The network provides amount of support in terms of what we do, how we do it, and technical developments, which is something you can't replicate if you work entirely by yourself. This 'knowledge bank' means clients have access to the combined wisdom of over 100 consultants.David Lowe, Auditel Consultant since 1995